Banner image: A screaming low-res Godzilla.

Yesterday’s sunset.

Dramatic silver clouds shaped like an anvil over blue water. An oil train speeds by in the corner of the frame.

Colorful tubemen flail and dance in a store window in front of a silver backdropA second view: Colorful tubemen flail and dance in a store window in front of a silver backdrop

Liked: Issue 177 : Clarkesworld Magazine - Science Fiction & Fantasy

Pioneer Square, Seattle.

An assortment of city buildings, old and new, glass and brick. One tall brick building has a fire escape zig-zagging up the side.

Nightclub enthusiasts are weighing in on public health matters. 😂

A crosswalk button in Seattle has a sticker on it that says: vaccinate so we can fornicate

Watching: Castlevania Season 4 🎥

Pike Place Market and Seattle Center were overflowing with tourists today. Tons of shops were open! They even had a guy with a megaphone directing foot traffic for the Space Needle.

Welcome back, travelers! Spend money, drink our coffee, eat our food, and enjoy our city. 👍🏼

Local Graffiti 😂

A banner with the space needle is scrawled with the phrase "Frasier Rules"

New Post: Back to Life

Tonight’s movie: Army of the Dead 🎥

I like Tig Notaro, Dave Bautista, zombies, heists, and Las Vegas. So I’ve been looking forward to this!

I’m having one of those “every technology I touch stops working” days. 😩

If a nuclear reactor starts to melt down, just rub me against the building until it stops.

Liked: If You Want to Make It As a Writer, For God’s Sakes, Be Weird

I enjoyed Deep Work immensely but Cal Newport’s A World Without Email was skippable.

The road home! Seattle, here we come. 💕

Smooth brown hills roll alongside the slate colored columbia river beneath a cloudy blue sky.

Nevermore!

A raven sits on a roof edge

Views of Wyoming, our least populous state. 🗺

Cheri stands in front of a Welcome to Cheyenne mural painted like a postcard. Purple with wild horses.An old fashioned diner with a checkered floor, round stools, and a tin ceiling.Plain brick buildings in downtown Cheyenne. Brown boxes along a two lane street.A wall rack full of colorful western boots. So many colors and varieties!A flat wide freeway with a big blue sky above. Puffy white clouds make the sky look even bigger!

Roadtripping experiences so far: Hotels are squeaky clean with great Covid protocols, most folks are still very good about distancing, and masks are becoming less ubiquitious as the week goes on.

I’m happy to report that the world is still weird and wonderful. ☺

A metal alien sculpture wearing a mask in the desert.

Happy surprises on the road: Tokyo-quality ramen in Orem, Utah. 🗺

A black bowl of delicious Shoyu ramen with pork and egg

I woke up sore today after getting my second shot.

Meanwhile, my immune system is like:

Neo from the matrix says: I know Kung Fu

Reading: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor 📚

Binti: Book Cover

A mound of azalea bushes in yellow, red, pink, and purpleWatercolor painters working in a parkAn anti-fascist sticker with Trump yellinh coronavirus moleculesA MLK jr mural.

Today I’m grateful for:

  • Cool air & light rain
  • P handling our grocery shopping
  • An upcoming road trip 🗺
  • Work that I enjoy!

I want to use Expounder on my website, but I haven’t thought of a good use for it yet. ☺️

Liked: John Swartzwelder, Sage of “The Simpsons”

Since writing is very hard and rewriting is comparatively easy and rather fun, I always write my scripts all the way through as fast as I can, the first day, if possible, putting in crap jokes.

Tentative Explorations

We are easing into the world, antibodies bopping around our bodies like nanobots, invisible yet helpful.

If my body is average (and it has always seemed so) and if the scientific studies were robust (and they appear to be) I am enjoying a sharply reduced likelihood of infection now, with peak effectiveness right around the corner. Huzzah for research!

Still, my indulgences are minor:

  • Less apprehension when slipping through a busy sidewalk.
  • Sharing an elevator with a neighbor.
  • My first workout at our building’s gym since this whole mess started.

It felt strange stepping into the gym after 13 months. Familiar yet foreign. Me, on the bike. An elderly neighbor on the treadmill across the room. Both of us breathing behind our masks. I looked out the window. Somehow I’d forgotten that you can see Elliott Bay from our gym. A peekaboo view around the tower next door. The things that I’ve missed are eclipsed in number by everything I’ve lost track of. My mind has been absorbed with waiting and worrying. I forgot that I can see the water from the gym! That’s a tiny thing, but it makes me eager for more discoveries.

REdiscoveries?

I’m off work today. And I’m hungry for new sights and sounds, for novelty, for the once-ordinary experiences of eavesdropping on conversation on a bus, or browsing a shop, or even seeing people’s faces! But I have to be patient.

Our local baristas are exhausted. Everyone wants to make small talk, one of them groaned. Seattleites are not usually chatty with strangers. But we’ve been pent up for too long and we’re ready to blow. HOW ARE YOU DOING!!!!

Baristas eye us all like they’re tempted to give us decaf. The ultimate punishment. We tone it down. Nod with deep empathy as they explain they had 25 people in line that morning and the owner can’t afford more staff yet. We keep our coffee orders concise and enunciate clearly. We tip. Never fuck with the supplier of your drug of choice.

It’s been a long, long year, baristas. We understand.

It’s cool and gray outside, and I think I’ll take a walk down to Beechers at the market and buy some hot tomato soup if the line isn’t too long. I’ll pass the tourists taking selfies at the fake-first-Starbucks. Dozens of shops have closed! No more Bavarian Meats. The Pear Grocery lives on in memory. Adiós Ralphs! Yet I see every empty storefront as fertile ground waiting to be planted.

Seattle exists in my heart as layers of what was and what might be. You remember was was there, on that corner, years ago. You see what’s in front of your eyes, right now. And I can almost see what’s waiting, ready to shove its way in. The city is always impatient, ready for the churn, eager for new opportunities.

Me too! But for the moment, I’ll settle for soup.

🙂